Wilco

Ashes of American Flags

the cash machine
is blue and green
for a hundred in twenties
and a small service fee
I could spend three dollars
and sixty-three cents
on diet coca-cola
and unlit cigarettes

I wonder why
we listen to poets
when nobody gives a fuck
how hot and sorrowful
this machine begs for luck
all my lies are always wishes

I know I would die
if I could come back new

I want a good life
with a nose for things
a fresh wind and bright sky
to enjoy my suffering
a hole without a key
if I break my tongue
speaking of tomorrow
how will it ever come
all my lies are always wishes

I know I would die
if I could come back new

I'm down on my hands and knees
every time the doorbell rings
I shake like a toothache
when I hear myself sing
all my lies are only wishes

I know I would die
if I could come back new

I would like to salute
the ashes of American flags
and all the falling leaves
filling up shopping bags

Side with the Seeds

Tires type black
Where the blacktop cracks
Weeds spark through
Dark green enough to be blue
When the mysteries we believe in
Aren’t dreamed enough to be true
Some side with the leaves
Some side with the seeds

The treetops nod
The rain applauds
The park grows dark
And the swings all slowly die
But you and I will be undefeated
By agreeing to disagree
No one wins but the thieves
So why side with anything

The streetlights glow
Comes and goes
When the sun comes back
As we all can plainly see
Embracing the situation
Is our only chance to be free
I’ll side with you
If you side with me

Written by Tweedy and Jorgensen
Instrumental Credits
Jeff Tweedy – vocals, electric guitar
John Stirratt – bass
Glenn Kotche – drums
Mikael Jorgensen – piano
Nels Cline – lead electric gutiar
Pat Sansone – Hammond A100 organ, Mellotron

Handshake Drugs

I was chewing gum
for something to do
the blinds were being pulled
down on the dew
inside out of love
what a laugh I was looking for you

the saxophones
started blowing me down
I was buried in sound
and the taxi cabs were driving me around
to the handshake drugs I bought downtown

they were translating poorly
I felt like a clown
I looked like someone I used to know
I felt alright
and if I ever was myself
I wasn’t that night

oh it’s ok for you to say what you want from me
I believe that’s the only way for me to be
exactly what you want me to be

I was chewing gum
for something to do
the blinds were being pulled
down on the dew
inside out of love
what a laugh I was looking for you

the saxophones
started blowing me down
I was buried in sound
and the taxi cabs were driving me around
to the handshake drugs I bought downtown

exactly what you want me to be

Instrumental Credits
Jeff Tweedy Vocals, Electric & Acoustic Guitar
John Stirratt Bass & Background Vocals
Glenn Kotche Drums
Leroy Bach Piano
Mikael Jorgensen RMI Rock-si-chord
Jim O'Rourke Electric Rhythm Guitar
Tim Barnes Percussion

The Late Greats

The greatest lost track of all-time
The Late Greats’ Turpentine
you can’t hear it on the radio
can’t hear it anywhere you go

The best band will never get signed
The Kay-Settes starring Butchers Blind
so good you won’t ever know
they never even played a show
can’t hear ’em on the radio

the greatest singer in rock ’n’ roll
would have to be Romeo
his vocal chords are made of gold
he just looks a little too old

the best songs will never get sung
the best life never leaves your lungs
so good you won’t even know
you’ll never hear it on the radio
can’t hear it on the radio

Instrumental Credits
Jeff Tweedy Vocals & Acoustic Guitar
John Stirratt Bass
Glenn Kotche Drums & Hammer Dulcimer
Leroy Bach Piano
Mikael Jorgensen Piano & Farfisa Organ
Jim O'Rourke Electric Guitar

Kingpin

I wanna be your kingpin
Living in Pekin

I wanna be your bigwig
Living in Pekin

I got the flu and away I flew
N.Y.C.P.D. blue
Dimatap and spinal tap
City maps and hand claps

Statue of Liberty play
It only works once
Don't throw it away

’Cause I wanna be your kingpin
Living in Pekin

Living in

Pekin
Living in

How can I
How can I give my love to you when
I don't know what to do

Wishful Thinking

fill up your mind with all it can know
don’t forget that your body will let it all go
fill up your mind with all it can know
what would we be without wishful thinking?

chambers of chains
with red plastic mouths
the inside of outside
no one has found
how to unring the bell
it’s just as well
the turntable sizzles
the casting of spells
the pressure devices
hell in a nutshell
is any song worth singing if it doesn’t help?

fill up your mind with all it can know
don’t forget that your body can let it all go
fill up your mind with all it can know
’cause what would love be without wishful thinking?

open your arms
as far as they will go
take off your dress
an embarrassing poem was written when I was alone
in love with you
I shook down these lines
to shine up the streets
I got up off my hands and knees
to thank my lucky stars that you’re not me

what would we be without wishful thinking?
what would we be without wishful thinking?
what would we be without wishful thinking?

Instrumental Credits
Jeff Tweedy Vocals, Acoustic Baritone 12 String & Acoustic Guitar
John Stirratt Bass
Glenn Kotche Drums
Leroy Bach Vibes
Mikael Jorgensen Piano & Farfisa Organ
Jim O'Rourke Korg CX-3 Organ

Impossible Germany

Impossible Germany
Unlikely Japan

Wherever you go
Wherever you land
I’ll say what this means to me
I’ll do what I can

Impossible Germany
Unlikely Japan

The fundamental problem
We all need to face
This is important
But I know you’re not listening
Oh I know you’re not listening

If this was still new to me
I wouldn’t understand

Impossible Germany
Unlikely Japan

But this is what love is for
To be out of place
Gorgeous and alone
Face to face

With no larger problems
That need to be erased
Nothing more important than to know
Someone’s listening
Now I know

You’ll be listening

Written by Tweedy and Wilco
Instrumental Credits
Jeff Tweedy – vocals, electric guitar
John Stirratt – bass
Glenn Kotche – drums, percussion
Mikael Jorgensen – piano, Hammond A100 organ
Nels Cline – lead electric gutiar
Pat Sansone – electric guitar

Via Chicago

I dreamed about killing you again last night
And it felt alright to me
Dying on the banks of Embarcadero skies
I sat and watched you bleed
Buried you alive in a fireworks display
Raining down on me
Your cold, hot blood ran away from me
To the sea

I printed my name on the back of a leaf
And I watched it float away
The hope I had in a notebook full of white, dry pages
Was all I tried to save
But the wind blew me back via Chicago
In the middle of the night
And all without fight
At the crush of veils and starlight
I know I'll make it back
One of these days and turn on your TV
To watch a man with a face like mine
Being chased down a busy street
When he gets caught I won't get up
And I won't go to sleep
I'm coming home, I'm coming home
Via Chicago

Where the cups are cracked and hooked
Above the sink
They make me think
Crumbling ladder tears don't fall
They shine down your shoulders
Crawling is screw faster lash
I blow it with kisses
Rest my head on a pillowy star
And a cracked door moon
Says I haven't gone too far

I'm coming home
I'm coming home
Via Chicago
Searching for a home
Searching for a home
Via Chicago

Instrumental credits:
Jeff Tweedy – vocals, electric and acoustic guitars, synthesizers
Jay Bennett – banjo, piano, organ, moog, tambourine
John Stirratt – bass
Ken Coomer – drums

A Shot in the Arm

The ashtray says
You were up all night
When you went to bed
With your darkest mind
Your pillow wept
And covered your eyes
You finally slept
While the sun caught fire

You've changed

We fell in love
In the key of C
We walked along
Down by the sea
You followed me down
The neck to D
And fell again
Into the sea
You changed
Oh, you've changed

Maybe all I need is a shot in the arm
Maybe all I need is a shot in the arm
Maybe all I need is a shot in the arm
Maybe all I need is a shot in the arm
Maybe all I need is a shot in the arm
Maybe all I need is a shot in the arm
Maybe all I need is a shot in the arm
Something in my veins

Bloodier than blood
Bloodier than blood
Bloodier than blood
Bloodier than blood

The ashtray says
You were up all night
When you went to bed
With your darkest mind
You changed
You've changed

What you once were isn't what
You want to be any more

Instrumental credits:
Jeff Tweedy – vocals, acoustic and 12-string guitars, synthesizers
Jay Bennett – lap steel, piano, keyboards, synthesizers, drums
John Stirratt – bass
Ken Coomer – timpani

Monday

Choo-choo Charlie had a plenty good band
But he couldn't understand why no one would go
The World Record Players on a tour of Japan
Charlie's fixing his van with a left arm tan

He said

Monday, I'm all high
Get me out of FLA
In school, yeah
I fooled ya
Now I know I made a mistake
Blister on a turnpike, let me by
I only want to wonder why when I don't die
Oooh, I shot ya, yeah, I know
I only want to go where my wheels roll

Monday, I'm all high
Get me out of FLA
I fooled ya
In school, yeah
Now I know I made a mistake

Everybody's wondering, "Where'd he go?"
He must be down in Pensacola
Hiding from the snow

The World Record Players on a tour of Japan
Charlie's fixing his van
He's waiting for a postcard

And he said
Monday, I'm all high
Get me out of TLA

Well I cut class
In school, yeah
Now I know I made a mistake
I made a big mistake

You Are My Face

I remember my mother’s
Sister’s husband’s brother
Working in the goldmine full-time
Filling in for sunshine
Filing into tight lines
Of ordinary beehives
The door screams I hate you
Hate you hanging around my blue jeans
Why is there no breeze
No currency of leaves
No current through the water wire
No feelings I can see
I trust no emotion
I believe in locomotion
But I've turned to rust as we've discussed
Though I must have let you down
Too many times
In the dirt and the dust

I have no idea how this happens
All of my maps have been overthrown
Happenstance has changed my plans
So many times my heart has been outgrown
Now everybody’s feeling all alone
Can’t tell you who I am

When everybody’s feeling all alone
Can’t tell you who I am

I am looking forward
Toward the shadows tracing bones
Our faces stitched and sewing
Our houses hemmed into homes
Trying to be thankful
Our stories fit into phones

And our voices lift so easily
A gift given accidentally
When we’re not sure
We’re not alone

Written by Tweedy and Cline
Instrumental Credits
Jeff Tweedy – vocals, electric guitar
John Stirratt – vocals, bass
Glenn Kotche – drums
Mikael Jorgensen – piano
Nels Cline – lead electric 12-string
Pat Sansone – vocals, acoustic guitar, Hammond A100 organ
Jim O’Rourke – feedback

Heavy Metal Drummer

I sincerely miss
those heavy metal bands
I used to go see
on the landing in the summer
she fell in love with the drummer
she fell in love with the drummer
she fell in love

shiny shiny pants
bleached blond hair
a double kick drum
by the river in the summer
she fell in love with the drummer
another
then another
she fell in love

I miss the innocence I've known
playing Kiss covers
beautiful and stoned
unlock my body
and move myself to dance
into warm liquid
flowing blowing glass
classical music blasting
masks the ringing in my ears

oh I sincerely miss
those heavy metal bands
I used to go see
on the landing in the summer
she fell in love with the drummer
she fell in love with another
she fell in love

I miss the innocence I've known
playing Kiss covers
beautiful and stoned

War On War

it's a war on war
it's a war on war
it's a war on war
it's a war on war
it's a war on war
it's a war on war
it's a war on war
there's a war on
you’re gonna lose
you have to lose
you have to learn how to die

let's watch the miles flying by
let's watch the miles flying by
you are not my typewriter
but you could be my demon
moving forward through flaming doors
you have to lose
you have to learn how to die
if you wanna wanna be alive

o.k.

you have to lose
you have to lose
you have to learn how to die
if you wanna wanna be alive

you have to die
you have to die
you have to learn how to die
if you wanna wanna be alive

I'm the Man Who Loves You

all I can see
is black and white
and white and pink
with blades of blue
that lay between
the words I think
on a page
I was meaning
to send to you
I couldn't tell
if it would
bring my heart
the way I wanted
when I started
writing this letter to you
but if I could
you know I would
just hold your hand
and you'd understand
I'm the man who loves you

all I can be
is a busy sea
of spinning wheels
and hands that feel
for stones to throw
and feet that run
but come back home
it makes no difference
ever known
makes no difference
ever known to me
but if I could
you know I would
just hold your hand
and you'd understand
I'm the man who loves you

Airline to Heaven

There's an airline plane Flies to Heaven every day
Past them pearly gates If you want to ride this
train Have your ticket in your hand Before it is too
late. If the world looks wrong And your money's
spent and gone And your friend has turned away
You can get away to Heaven On this aeroplane
Just bow your head and pray.

Them's got ears let them hear Them's got eyes let
them see Turn Your Eyes to the Lord of the skies
Take that airline Plane It will Take You Home again.
Yes, to your home behind the skies.

Well, a lot of people guess Some say no and some
say Yes Will it take some and leave some behind?
But you will surely know When to the airport go To
leave this world behind

Oh, a lot of speakers speak And a lot of preachers
preach When you lay their salary on the line But to
bow your head and pray Is the only earthly way
That you can fly to Heaven on time. That you can
reach Heaven on time.

Your ticket you obtain On this heavenly airline
plane You leave your sins behind You have got to
take this flight Might be daytime, might be night,
But you can't see your way if you're blind

Published by Woody Guthrie Publications, Inc. (BMI)/Warner-Tamerlane Publishing
Corp./Words-Ampersand Music (BMI)/You Want A Piece Of This Music (ASCAP),
administered by Bug Music

Words: Woody Guthrie 1939
Music: Jay Bennett/Jeff Tweedy 1997
Jay Bennett: 12-string acoustic slide guitars, backing vocals, shakers, saw, claps
John Stirratt: backing vocals, claps
Jeff Tweedy: vocal, acoustic guitar, Mellotrone, claps

It's Just That Simple

There's a whole lot of money that you gave me
I'd gladly empty my pockets right now
You'd parlay all that by triple
It's just that simple

Those days I'd gladly walk so long for you
Although it seemed I crawled most of the way
After some time I felt like a cripple
It's just that simple

Last week I was thinking about traveling by land
And the time you remember we were by the lake
It wasn't even like we made a ripple
It's just that simple
In my head, the time didn't make a ripple
It's just that simple

Instrumental credits:
Jeff Tweedy – vocals, acoustic guitar
John Stirratt – bass
Max Johnston – mandolin
Ken Coomer – drums
Brian Henneman – guitar
Lloyd Maines – pedal steel guitar

At Least That's What You Said

when I sat down on the bed next to you
you started to cry
I said maybe if I leave you’ll want me
to come back home
or maybe all you mean
is leave me alone

at least that’s what you said

you’re irresistable when you get mad
isn’t it sad I’m immune
and I thought it was cute
for you to kiss
my purple black-eye
even though I caught it from you
I still think we’re serious

at least that’s what you said...

Instrumental Credits
Jeff Tweedy Vocals & Electric Guitar
John Stirratt Bass
Glenn Kotche Drums
Leroy Bach Piano
Mikael Jorgensen Synthesizer
Jim O'Rourke End Piano

I Am Trying to Break Your Heart

I am an American aquarium drinker
I assassin down the avenue
I'm hiding out in the big city blinking
what was I thinking when I let go of you

let's forget about the tongue-tied lightning
let's undress just like cross-eyed strangers
this is not a joke so please stop smiling
what was I thinking when I said it didn't hurt

I want to glide through those brown eyes dreaming
take you from the inside (baby) hold on tight
you were so right when you said I've been drinking
what was I thinking when we said good night

I want to hold you in the bible black predawn
you're quite a quiet domino bury me now
take off your band aid cuz I don't believe in
touchdowns
what was I thinking when we said hello

I always thought that if I held you tightly
you would always love me like you did back then
then I fell asleep in the city kept blinking
what was I thinking when I let you back in

I am trying to break your heart
I am trying to break your heart
but still I'd be lying if I said it wasn't easy
I am trying to break your heart

disposable dixie cup drinker
I assassin down the avenue
I've been hiding out in the big city blinking
what was I thinking when I let go of you

Theologians

theologians don’t know nothing
about my soul
about my soul

I’m an ocean
and this emotion
slow motion, slow motion

illiterati lumen fedei
god is with us everyday
that illiterate light
is with us every night

theologians they don’t know nothing
about my soul
oh they don’t know

they thin my heart with little things
and my life with change
in so many ways
I find more missing every day

theologians

I’m going away
where you will look for me
where I’m going you cannot come
no one’s ever gonna take my life from me
I lay it down
a ghost is born
a ghost is born
a ghost is born

I am a notion
I am all emotion
I am a cherry ghost

Instrumental Credits


Jeff Tweedy Vocals, Electric & Acoustic Guitar
John Stirratt Bass
Glenn Kotche Drums
Leroy Bach Acoustic Guitar
Mikael Jorgensen Piano
Jim O'Rourke Piano

Hate It Here

I try to stay busy
I do the dishes, I mow the lawn
I try to keep myself occupied
Even though I know you’re not coming home

I try to keep the house nice and neat
I make my bed I change the sheets
I even learned how to use the washing machine
But keeping things clean doesn’t change anything

What am I gonna do when I run out of shirts to fold?
What am I gonna do when I run out of lawn to mow?
What am I gonna do if you never come home?
Tell me, what am I gonna do?

I hate it
I hate it here
When you’re gone

I caught myself thinking
I caught myself thinking once again
Have to try to keep my mind out of this
Try not to pretend

I’ll check the phone
I’ll check the mail
I’ll check the phone again and I call your mom
She says you’re not there and I should take care

I hate it here
When you’re gone
I hate it
I hate it here
When you’re gone

I try to stay busy
I take out the trash, I sweep the floor
Try to keep myself occupied
Cause I know you don’t live here anymore

Written by Tweedy and Wilco
Instrumental Credits
Jeff Tweedy – vocals, electric guitar
John Stirratt – bass, 8-string bass
Glenn Kotche – drums
Mikael Jorgensen – piano
Nels Cline – electric gutiar
Pat Sansone – Wurlitzer
Jim O’Rourke – percussion

ashes-cover-2

2009

Ashes of American Flags

Credits + Notes

Released on Record Store Day 2009. Ashes of American Flags is a new film presenting Wilco live in concert during their 2008 tour. Culled from concerts in five quintessentially American venues - Cain’s Ballroom in Tulsa, Tipitina’s in New Orleans, The Mobile Civic Center in Mobile, The Ryman Auditorium in Nashville and the 9:30 Club in Washington D.C. – the film captures the energy, poignancy and musicality of a Wilco concert and tour.

Directed and produced by Brendan Canty and Christoph Green (Sunken Treasure, Burn to Shine) Shot in HD Language: English (Dolby Digital Stereo), English (Dolby Digital 5:1 Surround) This dvd is Region 1 only. For Region 2-5, please order at Wilco's European store HERE. The audio tracks of all songs featured on the DVD (including the extras) will be available as a free audio download from wilcoworld (upon receipt of your dvd).

Film tracklisting: Ashes of American Flags / Side with the Seeds / Handshake Drugs / The Late Greats / Kingpin / Wishful Thinking / Impossible Germany / Via Chicago / Shot in the Arm / Monday / You Are My Face / Heavy Metal Drummer / War on War Extras: I'm the Man Who Loves You / Airline to Heaven / It's Just that Simple / At Least That's What you Said / I am Trying to Break your Heart / Theologians / Hate it Here